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CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley

News/Business. Scott Pelley. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Pelley 14, Sandy 8, Manhattan 6, New York 6, Scott 6, New Jersey 5, Loprestie 3, Michael Alacha 3, Coricidin Hbp 2, New Nectresse 2, Midtown Manhattan 2, Florida 2, Michelle Miller 2, Atlantic City 2, Campbell 2, Scott Pelley 2, Prego 2, Timothy Lynch 2, Spiriva 2, John 2,
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  CBS    CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley    News/Business. Scott  
   Pelley.  (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    October 31, 2012
    5:30 - 6:00pm PDT  

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>> pelley: tonight, the storm is gone, but not the devastation it left behind. an entire new york city neighborhood burned to the ground. downed trees leave millions without power. floodwaters drive thousands from their homes. >> this is our community. this is our people, our friends. >> i got nothing left. >> pelley: also tonight, we're in the air with the army corps of engineers as they try to figure out how to get the water and the debris out of the disaster area. the president sees the destruction for himself. >> we are here for you. >> pelley: our team of cbs news correspondents will bring you comprehensive coverage of the aftermath of sandy. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley reporting tonight from breezy point, new york. >> pelley: good evening. we've come here because no
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community has seen more destruction from hurricane sandy than this. this entire neighborhood, in the new york city borough of queens, 111 homes destroyed by fire the night the storm hit. we'll have more on this in just a moment, but first, let us give you the big picture on the aftermath of sandy. nearly six million homes and businesses in 13 states are still without electricity tonight. at least 68 deaths are blamed on the storm. insurance companies tell us that well over 34,000 homeowners have put in claims for damage or destruction. in new york city, the sun finally came out today, along with the first sounds of recovery. ( bell ringing ) the stock market opened for the first time this week. buses are back and there could be some subway service tomorrow. the biggest challenge remains pumping floodwaters out of tunnels. the u.s. military is helping, and we flew along today with lieutenant general thomas
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bostic, commander of the army corps of engineers. >> pelley: the police released this video today of staten island residents being rescued from their flooded homes. president obama joined governor chris christie on a tour of the new jersey shore, where sandy made landfall monday evening. >> we are not going to tolerate red tape. we are not going to tolerate bureaucracy. and i've instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team. you return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it's the mayors, the governors, county officials. if they need something, we figure out a way to say yes. >> pelley: three days ago, this was a neighborhood of families. this evening, folks are
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returning to find all of their possessions in ashes. and a little while ago, we saw a man put everything he had in one baby stroller and push it away. breezy point is a community on the rockaway peninsula east of manhattan, and it is the bluest of blue-collar neighborhoods. many of the residents here are new york city firefighters or cops. let us show you what breezy point looked like before. rows of houses just a block or two from the beach. this is what the neighborhood looks like now. governor andrew cuomo walked the ground today and heard remarkable stories of heroism. the fire started about 11:00 when the hurricane was at its height. by the time firefighters made their way here, water pipes were bursting, and there was little pressure in the hydrants. they laid hoses in the rising water and used the flood to fight the fire. f.d.n.y. assistant chief joseph
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fifier is the assistant. >> fire flames shooting up in the air 100 feet, and moving quickly to the west, driven by the hurricane. >> pelley: you had winds of something like 80 miles an hour blowing this fire. >> exactly, and winds coming off the ocean, very intense flames blowing from the southeast, so we had two fronts of fire that we had to deal with. >> pelley: you know, when it comes to residential fires in new york city, where does this one range? >> as far as i know, unless you want to go back into the 1800s, this is probably the biggest private residential fire that we've had at least in modern times. >> pelley: the biggest one in new york city in modern times. how many houses destroyed? >> 111 houses totally destroyed by fire, and 20 that received substantial damage from the fire. >> reporter: chief feifer says they are still searching the debris, but there are no reports of missing persons.
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no one is believed to have died here. a love of the ocean draws people to beachfront communities just like this one, but in a storm, the sea is unforgiving. chip reid is in long beach island, new jersey, tonight. chip. >> reporter: well, good evening, scott. here on long beach island, as in many beach communities, people keep building closer and closer to the water. it's a gamble that many people on the jersey coast have now lost. one after the other, homes along the shoreline on long beach island, new jersey, are in shambles. this one appeared to have floated in from somewhere farther up the beach. massive dunes had been built to protect these homes, but hurricane sandy deposited those countless tons of sand in the street where it takes a bulldozer to carve a path. sandy tossed boats around here like toys, leaving some in piles, others scattered far and wide. bob davis, who rode out the storm in his home nearby, says in 40 years on this island, he's never seen a storm with anything
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like this kind of power. >> we made it through. and it's just the cleanup now. but it's going to take-- my estimation, with two years to get the island back in shape. >> reporter: kyle scheibner and jen smith's house took on four feet of water. they found safety in a neighbor's home. did you wonder if you had made the right decision by staying on the island? >> there is a good... >> at one point. >> ...hour or so that we were debating whether or not we had. >> reporter: farther up the coast in ocean beach, new jersey, more devastation. many of these homes will have to be torn down. >> this was how high the water was. >> reporter: nearby john patricia says he was lucky. his house in the family for 52 years will only have to be gutted. >> unfortunately, that's just the way life is, you know? you have to accept it, and that's the end of it. >> reporter: elsewhere on the jersey shore, fires ignited by natural gas leaks destroyed more than a dozen homes. in bayhead, first responders
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drove through the flooded streets in a front-end loader look for stranded residents. others put on hip-waders to walk through town. some used canoes and kayaks. where it is safe to drive, there are long waits for gasoline. this line stretched more than a mile on the garden state pa parkway. back here in long beach island, scott, people who lived along the beach here did evacuate. when they return, they will have to decide whether to build so close to the waves. >> pelley: well, can chip, how long will it be before those folks can get back into those homes to see what they've lost? >> reporter: well, scott, we're told by the mayor of long beach island that it's going to be at least a week. it's going to take that long to make this place safe for large numbers of people to return. >> pelley: thanks, chip. manhattan was mostly empty yesterday, but today, it seemed like a lot of folks decided the emergency was over, and they came pouring into town. but without the usual trains and subways, there was brutal gridlock on the roads. some of the rail service is now returning, and jim axelrod takes
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us down under. >> reporter: where are we? >> we're down here at the main exit and entrance of south ferry terminal. >> reporter: joe leader of m.t.a. transportation took us down for a look at the hardest hit of all 468 new york city subway stations. south ferry, at the southern tip of manhattan. >> we had barricaded up top with wood plywood and sandbags to keep the water out, but when the surge came, it brought down all this material that doesn't belong here. large pieces of lumber, and that broke through the barrier and allowed more water to come in. >> reporter: that's water just a few steps down from the top of the steps. but the tracks are another two levels underneath that. so as much as the water's gone down, we're still two levels worth of water till we get to the tracks? >> absolutely. >> reporter: it will take a week alone just to pump out the water. but the subway system will begin limited service tomorrow.
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limited mass transit has left city streets choked with cars, a telling sign of just how badly the city needs to ease the stress on the roads. in midtown manhattan, grand central terminal reopened after its longest closure ever in its 100-year history. tell me why you're up here? this 70-year-old man, his name is michael, lives in lower manhattan without power. he walked 30 blocks to join these folks and charge his cell phone. when is the last time you had to come to a train station to charge your phone? >> never, never. >> reporter: at 2:30, trains started running again to the northern suburbs. bob lieblong, who runs grand central terminal, visited by 750,000 people a day, said that's an important step in the city's recovery. >> it's very, very important. sure, people have hope now that g.c.t. is opened up. it's another step in the right direction. >> reporter: new york's mayor, mike bloomberg, is implementing another rule to try to ease congestion in manhattan. beginning tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m., scott, only cars with
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at least three people will be allowed to enter the city. >> pelley: it's going to take a while to make it normal again, jim. thank you very much. all bets are off in atlantic city where the casinos remain shut down and the board walk torn up. jeff glor spoke with some people who disobeyed orders to evacuate. >> reporter: zelphia connor chose to ride out the storm, a decision she now regrets. >> this was scary. i mean, scary. like, to not know if the water was going to come over the-- i literally thought the ocean was going to come into my home. >> reporter: it didn't, but a 50-foot section of the atlantic city board walk landed in her garage. >> i saw the board walk floating down the street but i never knew its destination was here. >> reporter: in your garage? >> in my garage. i never knew that. >> reporter: a short drive away, parts the pleasantville, new jersey, were left in shambles after being battered with wind gusts over 70 miles per hour and a tidal search that tore homes apart. jackie ernst has lived here for
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22 years. >> when i left everything was intact, and when i came back yesterday morning to this... this... >> reporter: most of the water has recede. now the cleanup begins. >> get my mother's picture. >> reporter: her family helped pick through the mess left behind. >> i'm going out of this property in a box. i assure you of that. i am not leaving. >> reporter: ernst wants to rebuild. her daughter mary says that will be very difficult. >> everything she has is right here and it's practically gone. it's all gone. she doesn't have anything. >> reporter: scott, officials caution they are still a long way from deciding who can move back. the more immediate concern is getting the power back. 60,000 remain without it in atlantic county. >> pelley: jeff, thank you. after the flood came the flames. a house fire erupted in a town underwater. sandy brought an early start to ski season. and they climbed 72 floors to
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was the scene of another emergency today. just as elaine quijano was reporting on the devastating flood in moonachie, new jersey, a house fire broke out behind her. here's elaine's report. >> reporter: our cameras were rolling as smoke started to billow out of this house on a deserted street in moonachie. after we called 911, firefighters showed up in three minutes, carrying equipment they saved from their flooded fire station. frank smith is the assistant fire chief. >> right now we have no police desk, no fire department, no ambulance squad. we're operating on whatever we grabbed during the flood, and we're operating out of a shelter right now. >> reporter: one firefighter was in sweat pants when he entered the building, but they saved it. >> we feel for everybody here because we are everybody here. >> reporter: this was just one of a half dozen fires since floodwaters overran this town. smith and these volunteers know every call could end at their own doorstep. >> i got to secure my power. i got to secure my gas. i'm afraid this is going to happen to my house and i can't get down the block.
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>> reporter: today, for the first time, smith had a chance to also help himself. eight feet of water was in his house, and his belongings are now piled outside. >> baby pictures, everything. it's rough-- trying to stay strong for my kids because every time i go home i start wanting to break down. >> reporter: he was on duty during the storm and rushed home to rescue his family. >> my wife had him. she was holding him up. and this one i had in my arm. it was crazy, running in and out, running in and out with the water up to here. it's water logged. >> reporter: he can't focus on himself for long. the calls from his neighbors keep coming. >> we have a possible neck injury. >> you can't prepare for this. this isn't something-- water, wind. there's no fighting it, you know. fires are going to break out, but we're going to be here to put them down. that's what we do. >> reporter: in a cool irony, the fire here started here because the power came back on. scott, the current mixed with the floodwater and led to this. >> pelley: elaine, thank you.
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the central appalachians got a fresh coat of snow today on top of almost three feet that fell after hurricane sandy merged with cold air from the west. west virginia got a few more inches of wet snow as folks dug out and power companies tried to restore electricity. sugar mountain in north carolina had its earliest ski season opening ever. it takes nerves of steel to inspect a damaged crane in the middle of a storm and we'll have that next. headphones buy now broadway show megapixels place to sleep little roadster war and peace deep sea diving ninja app hipster glasses 5% cash back sign up to get 5% everywhere online through december. only from discover. throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age.
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>> pelley: new york city officials tell us that construction crane that's dangling high above manhattan is stable, at least for now. how do they know that? well, john miller met the two men who risked their lives to figure it out. >> reporter: during the storm that snapped the boom off the crane with winds gusting through the 72-story construction site and swinging the hanging boom back and forth, two new york city building department engineers had to get to the top of the building and answer the question, "would the boom hold or come crashing down?" for most of the long climb, the only way up was the stairs. >> i've never heard anything as loud as wind howling in my life. as we got to the 48th floor, and it was-- you have to apply so much pressure to open the door. i was with him.
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and you get into the hallway, and you could almost get sucked right out. >> reporter: michael alacha and timothy lynch had to check each of the structural braces that held the tower with the crane on top to the side of the building. >> you notice that the mast has ties every nine floors. so we were concerned about the upper most tie. if that tie had failed, that means the mast could fall, that 1,000-foot mast. >> reporter: if the climb was perilous, it was nothing compared to when they got out on the roof. you are tied to a rope but you're trying to get as close to the edge of the roof, a place where any normal person would not want to be. >> i'm looking for-- i'm looking for information. i know i'm sound. i'm tied off. once i know that you're tethered, i'm okay with that. you can-- you start looking around. you start doing real work, but it does make your heart beat. >> reporter: so are they heroes? they say no, just part of a larger team that responded to this accident.
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so it was all just in a day's work? no. even michael alacha and timothy lynch will admit it was a little more than that, scott. >> pelley: john, i'm curious, did you ask michael and timothy what happened to their own homes? >> reporter: that's funny, while they were in the heart of midtown manhattan working on this, on the other side of the city, of course tim lynch's home was caught in the blackout. he's got no power at all. and michael alacha, his house is where you are in rockaway, and his house was flooded. so while they were focused on the city's problems, they didn't have time to think about their own. >> pelley: john, thanks very much. the hurricane, of course, has overshadowed the presidential election. but it is coming just the same in just six days. polls show president obama and mitt romney in a virtual tie nationally. in swing states that will tip the balance, a new quinnipiac university cbs news/"new york times" poll finds the president ahead by two points in virginia, 49% to 47%. he leads by five points in ohio, 50% to 45%.
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and the president is ahead by a single point in florida. 48% to 47%. mitt romney took his campaign to florida today, and he was joined by senator marco rubio. he refrained from attacking the president directly, leaving that to former governor jeb bush. something found here in breezy point in the ashes of a burned out home, brings the owner to tears. we'll have her story next. , e c, you know it can be hard to bremy copd symptomsontrol by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder
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>> something i can take with me. >> reporter: when the flames started late monday night, loprestie was in her house with two neighbors, fellow widows cathy and elaine. >> we thought we could fight it. the worst thing that water comes up, at least we would have had everything we own. [ crying ] >> but then the fire started coming. we couldn't fight that. [ crying ] >> reporter: they sought refuge in a neighbor's house. when that caught fire, they fled to another. this is what's left of the first home. this was the second, all lost. they finally found refuge at a church. >> oh, my god... >> reporter: every few minutes, a neighbor greeted her with a hug. the community spirit is strong. >> how's the baby? >> reporter: like most of her neighbors here, loprestie says she is not going anywhere. >> i want to be here. >> reporter: why do you want to stay here?
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>> because i belong in breezy. this is our community. >> reporter: loprestie continued to dig through the rubble of her home, determined to find something, anything, to ease the pain. >> the tile... i had tiles. >> reporter: her determination was contagious. >> i think i found something. over here. >> that's a plate i had in there. [ crying ] >> reporter: one small memory. >> thank you. >> reporter: from a life blown apart by a terrible storm. michelle miller, cbs news, breezy point, new york. and rebuild, they will. we would like to thank the new york national guard, the fire department of new york, and the new york police department for their assistance today. that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley. captions by: caption colorado comments@captioncolorado.com
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>> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald. good evening, i'm dana king. >> i'm allen martin. now, you could knock on a million doors but you would never get the kind of halloween treat giants fans got today in san francisco. >> that's right. they packed the streets to honor the team's world series victory. ♪ [ music ] >> reporter: on this halloween, san francisco is a sea of orange and black. the frenzy along the parade route and a 49er behind the wheel. >> just here enjoying things. >> reporter: leading to the celebration at civic center. >> reporter: and the giants telling their fans, this is all for you. >> your dedication, your unwaiveer having support, i thank you. >>ne

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